Now, continuing my ongoing series of posts on why to vote for Webb,
Reason Three: Privacy
In this part of the country, our rights are very important to us. We don't like the government to mess around in our personal affairs.
The warrantless wiretaps are, in my opinion, and apparently a lot of other folks' opinions, illegal. The administration argues, "well, if we go through the channels, we're wasting valuable time." Well, like Joe Biden explained, even if you don't go to the FISA Court first, that's fine. As long as you go to them within 72 hours of the start of the wiretap, so that the FISA Court can approve it. And there's no argument against doing it that way. At the end of 2004, there had been a grand total of 18,761 warrants granted, and only 5 turned down. So, if it is indeed needed, it won't be turned down. It's that simple.
This has done irreparable damage to our reputation, and to the Judicial branch. The Judiciary is supposed to make sure everything that goes on is Constitutional, but when the executive branch won't comply, it creates a problem. This particular problem even caused a highly respected jurist, Judge James Robertson, to resign the FISA bench in protest. And the Bush administration still refuses to go through the simple, proper channels. Why? Protecting our national security? Probably not. Arrogance? Probably so.
James Webb understands the importance of privacy, and of the government conducting itself honorably. He served with the Veterans Affairs Committee and in Ronald Reagan's administration (and resigned on principle, over a reduction of Navy forces). He knows a thing or two about good government.
James Webb said on May 11th that the wiretapping was not only illegal, but dangerous. He said, "National security is vital, but the Congress must always protect against the abuse of our individual rights."
I trust James Webb to keep the government out of my house and off my phoneline. He understands that it is vital that we retain our civil liberties during war time, or we would be no better than the very nations we have historically fought against.
James Webb. Protecting our privacy.